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A food forest on every corner - Permaculture guilds - N. GA Mountains

 
Sunny Soleil
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Hi everyone,

My husband and I have this dream to get food forests every mile or so, that will provide for everyone's food needs in the future. I have had this idea to write to my local paper, covers the county, about the idea of community food forests. I want to be able to appeal to those who don't know permaculture and thought I'd include a typical guild around apple, peach and/or pear trees as they are popular fruit trees here. I've done a PDC, but I don't kid myself I'm any expert, just keen to get something going.

We are in a largely rural area where people are hooked on their annual gardens and tilling and they spray but that's just because they don't know how to create a self regulating food growing system. The growing culture is a good thing because people are heavily into growing and sharing food and many of the older families keep chickens, hogs and even goats. It is also somewhat of a challenge because the permanent food forest is a new idea. The other good thing is that this is the bible belt, and everyone helps everyone else. One of the people in our church had this idea to turn a bankrupt equestrian center into some kind of 'teach em old timey skills' center, based on christian values. I want to start small and get a whole viral thing going...

We have largely red clay soil here...

I'd like some suggestions of some simple guild examples using appalachian type plants... for example blueberries grow well here, as do blackberries. Nut trees that flourish are hickory, pecan, chestnut. And I'd like some suggestions as to what kind of time frame I can speak of...

What I want to do is to convince people to start forming groups to get together, share the abundant supply of tools for doing this, donate land and bring in the children and the unemployed. I am prepared to offer my services, limited as they are, in helping design.. but I know I'm gonna need a lot of expert advice.

I am thinking that local businesses might want to get involved, for example the nursery and apple orchard might chip in with plants for the first one...

Any ideas welcome... I truly think this is something we can encourage all small towns, rural areas and even urban apartment blocks to do... and I just want to start it up here... Everyone reads the local paper so I thought this would be a good way to get going, with perhaps a simple website they can visit to get more info?

As I said ANY IDEAS WELCOME...

sunny

PS I have no funds to speak of but am counting on the goodness of folk to help get this going...
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Let me throw in one idea for you. We used to grow lots of seedlings every year for our plantations, like over 100K. At the end of the year, there were probably 20 to 30 K that didn't make the cut as far as being perfect trees for a plantation, but they were just fine for growing.

Contact nurseries for their rejects. You may well get some perfectly usable fruit and nut trees for nothing more than a bit of free advertising on their part, which in turn will promote what you are doing.

I think the key is if you are going to do this on the cheap, is seek out the "waste" of our society, and show that it can produce food. Often getting rid of their waste is a significant problem for many companies - but it could be what you need to get started.
 
Aljaz Plankl
Posts: 384
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Once we get a place for local school food forest we will go home to home and get free plants, especially fruit bushes which can be easily propagated.
 
Jesus Martinez
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As someone suggested contacting nurseries for their rejects, you can also buy seeds and start your own. Some apple rootstock produce edible fruit, such as antonovka, and you can also grow paw paw, and loads of berry bushes too.
 
Marcus Zed
Posts: 10
Location: The City
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Sunny Soleil wrote:My husband and I have this dream to get food forests every mile or so, that will provide for everyone's food needs in the future.


Anyone have any insight on how this might be done in the US from a legal standpoint?

I can immagine that people might have some concern building on of these on their own land if it might make them liable for the safety of foragers/squatters. It's sad, but that is just how things seem to be in this country at this time.

Sub-dividing the land and putting the "public" parcel in some sort of trust?
 
Jesus Martinez
Posts: 166
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If you have something set up where you invite people to come over to something like a fruit stand or U-Pick, I think you might have to classify yourself as a non-profit or get some other form of food processing license, otherwise if you just have non-enforcement of the "theft" of your produce, I think the likelihood of getting into legal issues is much less. I think what the OP was saying was that they were wanting to plant food producing trees/shrubs/vines in other peoples unused/abandoned/neglected property.

I will leave people with an observation I've made though. Here in western Washington, blackberries grow like a weed, during the ripening season, anyone with a 5 gallon bucket can go and spend a few hours picking and fill it up probably every day of the season. However, it doesn't stop grocery stores and farmers' markets from selling them at 5-10$ a lb as there is still obviously a cash market for this otherwise free and very abundant food, so I don't think that merely the availability of free food is going to necessarily reduce many peoples grocery bills.
 
Charles Kelm
Posts: 170
Location: Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
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Sunny - I think a good thing for you to do would be to offer free classes in Winter Sowing. This will help you get in touch with local people who are interested in growing things, and you can use those contacts to slowly begin to spread the message of permaculture. I know you are doing golden currants, and the more perennials which you can winter sow the better. Just start out slow and freely share you passion will others, it will snowball. The other person's idea about the old time skill teaching center is great, and can work great with what you are trying to do.
 
john giroux
Posts: 145
Location: Cumming, GA
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I'm in gainesville ga. I am just starting out and have a few guilded apple trees and am trying to get food forest started. What part of georgia are you in?
 
Honora Holmes
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I'm in Forsyth County. I'd be interested to know where you are as well.
 
Jason Matthew
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I am 30 miles east of Atlanta. I am going to follow the guild design in Gia's Garden as much as possible. I have apple, pear, almond, peach, and persimmon trees in the ground. I have interspaced blueberries between the trees. I have seeded Dutch white clover throughout. I am planting daffodils around the base of the trees to deter rodent feeding. I still need to add comfrey and eliminate most of the grass in the area. I am terrible with herbs, but they are next on the list to go around each tree.

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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here we have been sharing with our neighbors, and also there are some hedgerows along the fields where my neighbor and I walk that are unkept, and we do have a tendency to toss fruit and seeds and nuts into the hedgerows ..so there will be more fruit..one of the hedgerows along the road had a berry that I wasn't able to identify..however, I did notice the birds cleaned them up in a few days from when they were ripe..so..I grabbed some of those berries and threw them in my oldfield that is reverting to woods..and found as many fruits and berries i could to throw in there or bury to try to grow new things..I put in pears, mtn ash, plums and apples as well as oak, walnut and other seeds all over that field..esp along the trails between the baby trees growing..and hope that in the future it will be full of foods..

also I plant every single kind of food bearing plant I can think of that will grow in our climate on my own property..and offer starts or seeds to anyone who wants it, share the excess etc.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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i was just reading another forum (either Homesteading today or Garden Web) and there was a link to a town, think it was in England, where they are trying to ..the town..produce all the fruits and vegetables the town needs by 2018. they are having things like apples in one area of town, herbs in another, raspberries in another, etc.

I thought it sounded really good so I sent a link of the article to my chamber of commerce and said that if they would consider it ..I would consider donating plants, seeds or cuttings from my own gardens.

Everyone could do the same thing
 
Lolly Knowles
Posts: 159
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Brenda, it sounds like something I've heard called "transition towns". This may be the video that introduced me to the idea. I had no idea there were so many available! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q90_phxAOk&feature=related
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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here is the link, I also posted a thread to this link

http://www.incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk/projects/growing-bodies
 
jennifer hardman
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Hi, my family has the same dream. My husband was a leader on this issue. He passed away this May. I want to insure his dream is accomplished. I want to start a food forest in my backyard. I am interested in contributing to your efforts. Please contact my company at Gratitudeiswealth@gmail.com or http://www.facebook.com/GratitudeIsWealthLlc. I am so excited about finding this sight Please google Alex Hardman on the Lou show. Blessings to you all.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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what about starting small with say 20 or 30 families..make up a flyer to explain what you want to do and hand deliver them to 20 or 30 families close by..and tell them that you will be holding a FREE seminar at a local spot ..park or school or church?? ... and you will give them information on how to get started

then if you can find some 20 or 30 baby trees to get people started you can hand out one to each family ..giving them maybe a cutting or two to put under their trees, or some packets of seeds..or seedballs that you have made up..

you might even offer a follow up seminar to see how things are doing..and maybe a harvest party ..later on?
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8982
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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The "permablitz" concept might be a way to get this going in your neighborhood:

http://www.permablitz.net/what-is-a-permablitz
 
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